If you want to become a stronger team leader and end futile meetings for good, then this blog post is for you. We have outlined nine types of business meetings you need to know about and how to conduct them properly.
From the pressure of leadership to mentoring your team to meet goals and targets, balancing different expectations can be a challenging task. And as a leader, running meetings are needed to help assign tasks, receive status updates, brainstorm strategies, and more.
Any meeting, regardless of type, needs a clear purpose, goals, use case, and agenda. Creating an agenda, setting expectations, and tracking conversations are all important steps to ensure that the meeting stays on track and productive.
Why It’s Important to Plan the Right types of business Meetings
Knowing what types of business meetings a manager can host will help set your team up for success. Effective meeting management can help expand team engagement and collaboration.
Rather than being a repetitive, tedious activity, an effective meeting can be a unique opportunity to gather ideas, provide input, spur professional growth, and advance organizational objectives.
Besides, from a budget perspective, ineffective meetings are costly! Effective meeting management looks more consciously at the costs of ineffective meetings that reduce meeting productivity.
Before discussing the different types of meetings below, it is important to note that an effective meeting will generally have a clear objective communicated to relevant stakeholders prior to the meeting. Then, a meeting agenda outlining the topics of discussion should be shared with the meeting participants to prepare for the conversation.
Finally, the discussion during an effective meeting should lead to a variety of questions and topics, documenting important details in the meeting notes.
9 of the Most Common Types of Business Meetings
Here are nine types of business meetings, and tips for conducting them successfully to help you get started!
1. Onboarding meetings
An onboarding meeting is the first meeting between employees and their managers after they join the organization. This type of kick-off meeting marks the beginning of their training and it is essential that the employee onboarding period lays the groundwork for a new team member’s success as this is their first deep dive into company processes and systems.
These types of business meetings should help managers get to know their employees and build relationships. Asking ice breaker questions, like, what are your hobbies, what is your favorite dish, or other interpersonal questions, such as, how do you like to receive feedback, or what inspires you, are best practices for these meetings.
The onboarding meetings should also outline their training program and the relevant resources, who their team members are, and a checklist of action items to complete in their first week.
2. One-on-one meetings
A one-on-one meeting is between two people, typically a manager and their direct report. They are one of the most effective ways for managers to build rapport and trust with their direct reports.
There are many types of one-on-one meetings, and the type of one-on-one you’re hosting will dictate the content of the agenda. For instance, the first one-on-one meeting a manager has with a direct report will be very different from a bi-weekly one-on-one check-in.
At Fellows, managers have one-on-one meetings with line managers to get to know them and take their temperature. They ask relationship-building questions while setting expectations and action points that will set employees up for success.
Topics are oriented toward project progress and examining current roadblocks when having a career-building conversation. Regardless of the frequency of one-on-one meetings, meetings should always include:
- Rapport-building questions to check on every other’s well-being and personal lives
- Discussion of specific or essential business items
- Clear action items and next steps after leaving a meeting
The importance of one-on-one meetings lies in their ability to foster trust and meaningful bonds between employees and their managers. An important component to ensuring these type of meetings are effective involves getting your direct reports to prepare the agenda for the meeting.
Using one-on-one meeting tools to document conversations and provide immediate feedback is also a helpful strategy for increasing meeting effectiveness.
3. Check-in meetings
Check-in meetings—also called status update meetings—are discussions where teams collaborate and share progress on a distinct topic or project. The objective is to ensure alignment across the team and project while lifting blockers that impede progress.
Although check-in or status update meetings aren’t always the team’s favorite, they are a valuable mechanism for solving problems and staying updated on project progress.
The length of a check-in meeting can vary based on the status and size of the project. Sales teams often hold short 10- to 15-minute stand-up meetings every day to keep up with business progress and updates.
Another option is to conduct a leadership check-in during a crisis where each department shares updates. Longer project check-in meetings are possible if you need to discuss updates and review past action items and progress.
Check-in meetings can be casual or formal, depending on the situation and workplace. Overall, successful check-ins should foster open communication lines between each team member and keep everyone involved in the loop.
This can be facilitated through a round table of updates, where each team member must add discussion points related to their projects. This lets you address any roadblocks so that the team can act quickly and accordingly.
To help you run a productive meeting, make sure you come prepared with a list of check-in questions to ask your team. You can also set them up for success by creating a feedback loop to capture updates, concerns, and other vital notes.
One way to do this is to set-up a standup meeting document that your team can fill out before the meeting!
4. Brainstorming meetings
Brainstorming meetings bring teams together to generate ideas on a particular topic. It sessions can take place synchronously or asynchronously. In an asynchronous context, you must ensure that remote team communication and collaboration tools are available to your meeting participants.
A successful brainstorming would be exciting! Everyone gathers to follow their creative juices and generate ideas. The sky should be the limit, and not a bad idea.
The suggestions generated can be very easy, but they can be difficult, and as the organizer of the meeting it is important to emphasize that there are no bad ideas. All meeting attendees are expected to take part in a conversation, so you should make sure your meeting format is appropriate for extroverted and introverted attendees.
Brainstorming meetings are fun and engaging sessions but can be mentally exhausting for the team, especially when there is no system in place to track ideas. It can be helpful to schedule follow-up meetings to narrow down and distill specific ideas later to maximize efficiency.
5. All-hands meetings
An all-hands meeting implies that all levels of the organization will be involved in the meeting, including individual contributors, department heads, team leads, and C-suite executives. The goal is to keep the entire company in sync with relevant updates, like department-specific updates or changes to company policies.
Every company has a different cadence and talking points for its all-hands meeting. An effective all-hands meeting will typically be conducted by the company’s CEO or leader, and talking points will include leadership or department updates, introductions to new employees, and more.
On the SuperManagers podcast, Clockwise CEO Matt Martin shared that his All-Hands meeting includes many different aspects, Whether it’s department updates, presentations, or topics to share fun moments of the week. These meetings usually last for an hour.
6. Decision-making meetings
A decision-making meeting brings the team together to formalize a decision and iterate on the next steps. These meetings will typically be used to make important decisions that require commitment and potentially a new direction.
These meetings are standard for different teams: Board meetings or project meetings may involve decision-making. Important decisions should be documented in your meeting minutes so the team can remember the reasoning behind the decision.
Questions to answer during these business meetings include:
- Given our current situation and resources, what are the best options moving forward?
- Who is responsible for the next steps? and why?
For instance, a decision-making meeting may be held with the social media marketing manager and social media marketing coordinator to change the direction of an unsuccessful marketing campaign. If the team needs to evaluate whether they approach a campaign with the right approach and tone, they can meet to assess engagement and conversion results and choose a new direction.
During the meeting, they will list why they need to focus and document why the new direction seems beneficial. Therefore, the purpose of this type of meeting is to decide and document the decision to move forward with a project or initiative.
7. Problem-solving meetings
Problem-solving meetings will usually be held between the person facing a challenge and the manager or leader. Depending on the nature of the issue, this meeting may include representatives from different departments, like a representative from HR or the legal team. The goal of a problem-solving meeting is either to find a solution to an obstacle or to explore possibilities for the next step.
Problem-solving meetings benefit all employees, regardless of the nature of the problem. During these meetings, you must first analyze a situation and its causes, assess which direction to move in, and then draw up an action plan to solve the problem.
Keep in mind, every step should be recorded in your meeting notes and shared with those involved in the conversation.
8. Quarterly planning meetings
Quarterly planning is the strategic implementation of an annual plan divided into four quarters. In each quarter a revised target is set for the next three months. These updated goals can be communicated in a quarterly planning meeting where strategic plans are discussed and achievements of the last 90 days are celebrated.
These meetings are an opportunity to press, give or receive feedback and are well suited for the coming months. Every quarterly planning session should also include time to reflect on the last 90 days, review completed and in-progress tasks, and prepare for what’s coming next quarter.
The goal of the meeting is to help prepare your team for success in achieving their short-term goals and the long-term goals of the company.
The key to an effective quarterly planning meeting is organization. Talking points should be clear and goals leaving the meeting should be set. Additionally, revisiting learnings from previous quarters during the planning conversation helps to consider which goals are appropriate and relevant.
9. Board meetings
A board meeting is a formal meeting with the board of directors of a given organization. These formal meetings are held at several intervals, like quarterly or annually, to discuss recurring and important issues, like policy issues, legal business or KPI reporting, or miscellaneous issues.
A board president, also known as the leader of the meeting, presides over the meeting. More specifically, the goal of a board meeting is to determine policy and strategy, review strategic plans, and reach an agreement on a given issue.
During this meeting, meeting minutes are recorded to form a legal document, which will later be published in line with the Board’s operations. Publishing meeting minutes is important because it is a communication strategy between the organization, the board, and several external stakeholders.
Make Your Meetings More Productive With an Agenda and the Right Tools
There are many different types of business meetings with different purposes. Navigating which meeting should be used in which situation can be challenging for managers.
By implementing effective meeting management strategies and leveraging the right tech stack tools to help you manage your work, schedule, team, and more, you can avoid unproductive meetings and start running collaborative sessions that make your motivate and energize the team to achieve its goals.